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University Centre Sparsholt: Applied Zoo Biology

Institution University Centre Sparsholt
Department Animal Management and Zoo Biology
Telephone 01962 797269
Study type Taught


Why choose this degree? - Taught by industry experts who are research active and have strong national and international links

  • Benefit from one of the largest collections of animals in our BIAZA-member Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre (AHWRC)

  • Possibility to undertake a six-month industry placement and research project

What makes UCS special? As a UCS student you will benefit from lecturers with a wealth of industry experience that comes from working with BIAZA and EAZA research committees/ working groups and a wide range of zoos. UCS is also supporting member of the ABTC and staff are members of the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians. Our teaching staff have experience and expertise in all areas of animal work including veterinary nursing, health and welfare, research, zoo industry and husbandry and animal behaviour and training.

UCS has an unrivalled collection of animals and species in its purpose-built Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre and was one of the first colleges in the country to be awarded a zoo licence and is part of The National Zoo Academy. The centre offers a wide variety of habitat styles and management systems to maximise the student learning potential and experience.

What will I learn? Building on your Undergraduate knowledge, the course is designed to expand your knowledge of zoo animal biology and refine your research techniques in aspects of zoo animal welfare, behaviour, population management and the wider roles of the modern zoo such as visitor learning.

In addition to traditional lectures and seminars, modules are delivered using the practical resources of our Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre, industry specific software and databases, conference attendance, guest speakers and off-site visits. Links are encouraged to external organisations, commercial companies and collaborative research projects. Previous students’ dissertations have been presented at the BIAZA and EAZA research conferences.

Each year there is an opportunity for some students to undertake a six month industry placement at the Cotswold Wildlife Park or Colchester Zoo where they will gain valuable practical industry experience while conducting an industry-endorsed research project.

How will I be assessed Modules are assessed by a mix of coursework, practical assessments, exams, case studies and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical evaluation and research skills with the use of formative assessments throughout the programme of study.

Where can I go from here? Career pathways include zoo or conservation research, environmental education or zoo management. Alternatively you may choose to study a doctorate or a career in lecturing.


Scholarship Opportunity with

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

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